Ireland face Papua New Guinea in Townsville
The ICC has announced the third round schedule of the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League Championship.
Ireland is undefeated in the Intercontinental Cup with a maximum of 40 points from its victories over UAE and Namibia after round two of seven. They stand 14 points clear of the Netherlands in second place, with Afghanistan five points back in third place on 21 points.
Hong Kong will face Scotland, while UAE play host to the Netherlands (21-24 January) before leaders Ireland travel to face Papua New Guinea in round three of the tournament in Townsville, Australia (31 January – 3 February).
The winners of the Intercontinental Cup will qualify for the Test Challenge, which will be played against the 10th-ranked Test side on a home and away basis in 2018.
If the Intercontinental Cup winner wins the four-match Test Challenge, then it will secure Test status until the next edition, which will take place in 2022.
Meanwhile, there is a four-way tie at the top of the World Cricket League Championship between Hong Kong, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland who are all on six points after four games.
The top four sides of a total of eight participating in the competition will progress to the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which will be held in Bangladesh in 2018.
Third round matches:
Hong Kong v Scotland
21-24 January 2016 – Four-day Intercontinental Cup, Mission Road
26 and 28 January – World Cricket League Championship, Mission Road
UAE v Netherlands
21-24 January - Four-day Intercontinental Cup, Abu Dhabi
27 and 29 January - World Cricket League Championship, Abu Dhabi
Papua New Guinea v Ireland
31 January – 3 February – Four-day Intercontinental Cup, Tony Ireland Stadium, Townsville
Afghanistan v Namibia
10-13 April – Four-day Intercontinental Cup, tbc
Nepal v Namibia
16 and 18 April – World Cricket League Championship, University Ground, Kathmandu (subjection to infrastructure/security assessment/approval)
Papua New Guinea v Kenya
April / May tbc - World Cricket League Championship